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    Stewart's Holiday Match Hits New Record

    Chain, customers contribute $1.26 million to children's charities.

    SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Stewart's Shops' 23rd Holiday Match program collected a record amount brought for local children's charities, according to a report in The Saratogian.

    The retailer's customers contributed $630,000 between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stewart's Shops is matching that amount, for a total of $1.26 million to be distributed to charitable organizations this spring.

    "We are thrilled to have finished the drive up more than 10 percent from last year, set a record for Holiday Match and to soon donate the money back into the communities we serve. Our customers, shop partners and media partners have surpassed everyone's expectations," said Susan Dake, Stewart's Foundation president.

    The Holiday Match program is funded by customer contributions at the 327 Stewart's Shops located in upstate New York and western Vermont from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day. There are no administrative costs; 100 percent of the funds collected and matched benefit the communities the retailer serves.

    After this year's funds are distributed, more than $13 million will have been allocated since the program's inception in 1986. The $630,000 Stewart's is matching is just more than a quarter of the $2,250,000 donations budget for Stewart's Shops in 2010.

    "Last year we were able to help thousands of organizations by contributing $2.25 million back into our communities. We are already seeing a high level of requests for assistance. We will continue to mirror our company theme, 'We are Closer to You,'" Dake said.

    Children's charities may still apply for funding from the Holiday Match Program. Applications are available in all Stewart's Shops or online at www.stewartsshops.com. Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 31, to be considered for funding.

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